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Peace & Nonviolence

Can we afford endless war?

  • Minding our own business would be cheaper — and safer.
  • We Can’t Afford War


Steve Chapman, Chicago Tribune | IL

Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor Bob Heberle

Ben Sargent

It's a shame to let accountants spoil the charming romance of war, but sometimes they insist. Recently the Congressional Research Service reported that our military undertakings in Iraq and Afghanistan have marked an important milestone. Together, they have cost more than a trillion dollars.

That doesn't sound like much in the age of TARP, ObamaCare and LeBron James, but it is. Adjusted for inflation, we have spent more on Iraq and Afghanistan than on any war in our history except World War II. They have cost more in real dollars than the Korean and Vietnam wars combined.

But we can only wish we were getting off so lightly. Neither war is over, and neither is going to be soon. The House just approved $37 billion in extra funding to cover this year, and the administration wants another $159 billion for 2011. That won't be the final request.

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We Can’t Afford War, Amy Goodman, TruthDig.com

  • “General Petraeus is a military man constantly at war with the facts,” began the MoveOn.org attack ad against Gen. David Petraeus back in 2007, after he had delivered a report to Congress on the status of the war in Iraq. George W. Bush was president, and MoveOn was accusing Petraeus of “cooking the books for the White House.” The campaign asked “General Petraeus or General Betray Us?” on a full-page ad in The Washington Post. MoveOn took tremendous heat for the campaign, but stood its ground.
  • Your Tax Dollars at War:  More Than 53% of Your Tax Payment Goes to the Military
  • The War Is Making You Poor Act


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Beautiful Women Used to Obscure the Horrors of War

  • Today (August 8), Time hits newsstands with a photo of a beautiful young woman with her nose cut off. Western photography, war, and beautiful "victims" have a long and fraught history.
  • Time isn't the only with Photoshop and a political agenda.

Daisy Hernandez, ColorLines

On Monday (Aug 9) , Time magazine will hit newsstands and Ipads with its full story on the plight of women in Afghanistan<http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,2007238,00.html> --- and the disturbing cover image that's already been intensely debated on the Internet.

The photo is of 18-year-old Aisha, a light brown Afghan woman with piercing eyes, a thick mane of dark hair, and her nose cut off. Her husband also sliced off her ears after she ran away from her in-law's home, where she was being beaten so badly she thought she would die.

It's hard, perhaps impossible, to look at the picture of Aisha and not feel horror, anger, fear. What's to be done? Time's editors have just the solution. The story's headline reads: "What Happens if We Leave Afghanistan." Critics, including Muslim women bloggers, are accusing Time of exploiting Aisha to gather support for Obama's futile war in Afghanistan and boost dwindling sales of the magazine as well.

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Targeting Iran: Is the US Administration Planning a Nuclear Holocaust?

The international community has endorsed nuclear war in the name of World Peace. "Making the World safer" is the justification for launching a military operation which could potentially result in a nuclear holocaust.
The Real Aim of Israel’s Bomb Iran Campaign

Michel Chossudovsky, Global Research

The US and its allies are preparing to launch a nuclear war directed against Iran with devastating consequences.

This military adventure in the real sense of the word threatens the future of humanity.

While one can conceptualize the loss of life and destruction resulting from present-day wars including Iraq and Afghanistan, it is impossible to fully comprehend the devastation which might result  from a  Third World War, using "new technologies" and advanced weapons, until it occurs and becomes a reality.  

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The Real Aim of Israel’s Bomb Iran Campaign, Gareth Porter, FireDogLake.com

  • What is important to understand about this campaign is that the aim of Gerecht and of the right-wing government of Benjamin Netanyahu is to support an attack by Israel so that the United States can be drawn into direct, full-scale war with Iran.
  • The Republican back door to war with Iran
  • Iran scientist: CIA offered me $50m to lie about nuclear secrets
  • Write and speak out!  Silence is complicity!


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How the Military Destroys the Lives of Soldiers Who Try to Tell the Truth

  • Bradley Manning is not the first military whistleblower to have his life ruined. The military is infamous for trying to silence soldiers who speak out against the war.
  • Support Bradley Manning!

Justine Sharrock, AlterNet

Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor Ken Mitchell

Last week (Aug 1-7), Representative Mike Rogers called for the execution of military whistleblower, Private Bradley Manning. His crime? Sharing the “Collateral Murder” video and the classified Afghanistan “war logs” with Wikileaks, which exposed the truth behind the failing war in Afghanistan, Pakistan’s cooperation with the Taliban, and potential war crimes. The 22-year-old Army intelligence analyst said he felt it was "important that it gets out...I feel, for some bizarre reason...it might actually change something.” He is currently in jail at Quantico, on suicide watch, and is facing up to 50 years in prison for exposing information the American public has the right to know.

“The government is engaging in selective prosecution to ensure that employees keep their mouths shut,” says Stephen Khon, a lawyer specializing in whistleblowing cases. “All of a sudden the whistleblower becomes public enemy number one. There is no proportionality.”

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Support Bradley Manning! The World Can't Wait
Sign the statement

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The War on Iraq : Five US Presidents, Five British Prime Ministers, Thirty Years of Duplicity, and Counting...

"Out of the mirror they stare, 
Imperialism's face And the international wrong." (W.H. Auden, 1907-1973, writing in 1939.)

Felicity Arbuthnot, Global Research

Twenty years ago this August, with a green light from America, Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait. He had walked in to possibly the biggest trap in modern history, unleashing Iraq's two decade decimation, untold suffering, illegal bombings, return of diseases previously eradicated and what can also only be described as UN-sponsored infanticide.

The reason for the Kuwait invasion has been air brushed out of the fact books by Britain and America, and been presented as the irrational and dangerous act of a belligerent tyrant who was a threat to his neighbours. He had, they pointed out piously, attacked, then fought an eight year war with Iran, and exactly two years to the month, after the 20th August 1988 ceasefire, invaded Kuwait, on 2nd August 1990. 

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A gathering storm for hope

  • Bishop Zavala's presence felt like a breath of fresh air to those of us in New Mexico who've been speaking out for disarmament for years. Not every day does one hear a Catholic bishop speaking clearly and eloquently about this crucial matter -- especially here, where nuclear weapons were first built and a new generation of them is in the works, thanks to Obama. Bishop Zavala's presence heightened our hope.
  • Living by the Sword, Dying by the Sword

John Dear SJ, National Catholic Reporter

Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor Steve Clemens

"Tonight's theme is the momentum from a gathering storm for hope which I believe will one day bear fruit in abolishing all nuclear weapons." That's how Bishop Gabino Zavala, President of Pax Christi USA, launched our two-day observance last weekend (July 31-Aug 1) of the 65th anniversary of the U.S. atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

He went on and offered us his clear-eyed view. "April of 2009 represented a sea change from the former administration," he said, referring to Obama's speech in Prague. "It clearly laid out our president's vision and commitment to nuclear disarmament," toward "a nuclear free world."

But then Obama's glaring contradiction. The bishop took him to task for allocating more national treasure for nukes than his predecessor. In many documents over the past decades, the bishop reminded us, nuclear weapons have inspired official condemnation from the Catholic Church. And he urged us to take it seriously, to keep building our grassroots movement. Make your hopes for peace come true, he concluded.

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Living by the Sword, Dying by the Sword, Gary G. Kohls, MD, Evergreene Digest

  • For the past 17 centuries most Christians, contrary to the way of Jesus, have been disobediently and faithlessly trying to live by the sword, and it hasn’t worked out so well. Jesus showed us the way to live. Let us follow that way. Amen.
  • Repenting of the Annihilation of Nagasaki Christianity by American Christians on August 9th, 1945

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Washington Rules: America's Path to Permanent War ~ Andrew Bacevich

  • Groupthink is alive and thriving in Washington, D.C., argues Bacevich, who's convinced that America's mightily militaristic and endlessly idealistic approach to the rest of the world is costing the country dearly. Boiling down his argument to the simplest terms: the world would get along just fine without this overarmed global policeman, and more important, the United States would fare far better at home if it weren't squandering so many of its gifts abroad.
  • The American Way of War: How Bush's Wars Became Obama's
  • The Trouble With Unconstitutional Wars

Reviewed by Andrew Bast, Newsweek

Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor Thomas Sklarski

What’s the Big Deal?

The Pentagon, a nearly three-quarter-trillion-dollar agency, is the largest industrial organization on the planet. And it's armed to the gills. Washington's best and brightest minds--in Bacevich's estimate, the "elected and appointed officials, corporate executives and corporate lobbyists, admirals and generals, functionaries staffing the national security apparatus, media personalities, and policy intellectuals," who are all deriving "profit, power, and privilege" from the status quo--have not only failed you and me, they are steadily running the country into ruin. Though at times he makes his argument with the wrong tools, Bacevich's chief concern--that we're misusing our military--couldn't be more important.

Kool-Aid, Kool-Aid, everywhere. The problem, according to Bacevich, stems from the insular, self-reinforcing, warped thinking that goes on inside the beltway of Washington. He harps on it so much, you'd almost think he was a provincial politician running for the White House. But his point is well taken: the core principles that have positioned the U.S. as a stalwart against the global scourge of communism, a global policeman, and the tip of the spear in today's global war on terrorism go very much unquestioned. What's debated are the tactics, not the underlying assumptions. After all, so few figures of consequence raise questions like "Why must we fight a global war on terror?" that they're readily sidelined, written off quickly as forgettable members of the fringe.

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The American Way of War: How Bush's Wars Became Obama's ~ Tom Englehardt, Described in TomDispatch<>

  • In The American Way of War, Engelhardt documents Washington's ongoing commitment to military bases to preserve and extend its empire; reveals damning information about the American reliance on air power, at great cost to civilians in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Pakistan.
  • Wars Don't Make Heroes
  • Advice for General Petraeus on the Rules of Engagement

The Trouble With Unconstitutional Wars, Ron Paul, R-TX

  • We should follow constitutional protocol when going to war. It is there for a reason. The founders knew that heads of state are far too eager to engage in military conflicts. That is why they entrusted the power to go to war with the deliberative body closest to the people – the Congress.
  • Washington Rules: America's Path to Permanent War

 

 

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The Republican back door to war with Iran

  • A game plan to draw the United States into a third war in the Middle East may be quietly unfolding before our eyes.
  • The Republican back door to war with Iran
  • The Real Aim of Israel’s Bomb Iran Campaign


Jamal Abdi, Foreign Policy

Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor Coleen Rowley

A game plan to draw the United States into a third war in the Middle East may be quietly unfolding before our eyes.

Late last week (July 18-24), Republicans in the House or Representatives unveiled H.Res.1553, a resolution providing explicit support for an Israeli bombing campaign against Iran. The measure, introduced by Texas Republican Louie Gohmert and forty-six of his colleagues, endorses Israel's use of "all means necessary" against Iran "including the use of military force".

"We have got to act," Gohmert has said in regard to the measure. "We've got to get this done. We need to show our support for Israel. We need to quit playing games with this critical ally in such a difficult area."
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Related:

The Real Aim of Israel’s Bomb Iran Campaign, Gareth Porter, FireDogLake.com

  • What is important to understand about this campaign is that the aim of Gerecht and of the right-wing government of Benjamin Netanyahu is to support an attack by Israel so that the United States can be drawn into direct, full-scale war with Iran.
  • Iran scientist: CIA offered me $50m to lie about nuclear secrets
  • Write and speak out!  Silence is complicity!

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